No more baby steps: a strategy for revolutionising childcare
01 July 2014
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has published plans for how the UK can move towards a universal, high-quality and affordable system of childcare and early years provision.
Based on research funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the proposals aim to meet three core objectives of public policy for the early years:
Higher employment rates for parents, particularly mothers
Reductions in early childhood inequalities
Greater gender equality
The components of the IPPR proposals are:
- An extension of universal early years provision– providing a universal entitlement of 15 hours a week of early learning, 48 weeks per year, for all children from the age of two until they enter school
- A new framework of affordable childcare for working families– bringing down the direct costs of childcare, with capped parental fees and a progressive allocation of resources, while guaranteeing affordable places from the age of one, funded through reforms to existing tax credits and reliefs
- Improvements to the quality of childcare and early-learning, to support children’s development– over time, building a highly qualified early-years profession, whose members hold teaching-and early-years-related qualifications
- Reforms to parental leave entitlements– strengthening fathers’ entitlements and giving families the opportunities to make genuine choices on work and care.